Premature 400 PPM fail-a-bration

It seems we didn’t reach 400PPM last week after all. The data has been revised. Ooops.

‘Carbon dioxide measurements in the Earth’s atmosphere did not break the symbolic milestone of 400 parts per million at a Hawaiian observatory last week, according to a revised reading from the nation’s climate observers.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) revised its May 9 reading at the Mauna Loa observatory in Hawaii, saying it remained fractions of a point below the level of 400 ppm, at 399.89′

Source: LA Times

Oh well, there’s always next week…or maybe not, since spring in the Northern Hemisphere tends to reduce CO2 as plants suck up all that CO2 that some claim is not plant food.

Still time to get t-shirts though.

H/t to Marc Morano

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Steven Rosenberg

Question raised by this post I’ve always wondered about: does the composition of the atmosphere vary much with the seasons? In other words, is there more CO2 and less O2 in the Northern Hemisphere in winter, etc. due to there being fewer leaves at work?

Bloke down the pub

I’m sure the msm will cover this retraction, not.

Jimbo

No wonder there wasn’t a climate Thermageddon last week. Here’s hoping.

Lance Wallace

Steve Rosenberg–
Keeling (of Mauna Loa fame) published an article 20 years ago showing the seasonal variation of oxygen using precise measurements of the O2/N2 ratio. As expected, it varies out of phase with CO2, but he found that it seemed to vary a bit more (about twice as much) than if CO2 variation alone was the cause. However, only three sites were examined, and one (near the Antarctic) gave very different values, so probably more is known now.
http://bluemoon.ucsd.edu/publications/ralph/3_Seasonal.pdf

mwhite

“180 Years accurate CO2 – Gasanalysis of Air by Chemical Methods (Short version)”
http://www.anenglishmanscastle.com/180_years_accurate_Co2_Chemical_Methods.pdf
There’s so much here, but
“There is no constant exponential rising CO2-concentration since preindustrial times but a variing CO2-content of air following the climate. E.G. around 1940 there was a maximum of CO2 of at least 420 ppm, before 1875 there was also a maximum.”
Who knows it may start to fall despite mans efforts?

Chris @NJ SnowFan

Well on the bright side we will just have to have another 400 ppm C02 Beer Party when C02 realy hits 400 ppm. Al Gores 400 ppm donaters may want a refund again or will he just pump his followers for another round of donations..

Vince Causey

Praise the Lord – we’re saved!

Robertv

I would understand it if the EPA would be in favor of more CO2 not less.
http://cfpub.epa.gov/npdes/stormwater/menuofbmps/index.cfm?action=browse&Rbutton=detail&bmp=126
A greener Amerika will need much more CO2 .There is no logic in the EPA’s way of thinking. Save nature by starvation.

aaron

So now we likely need to wait ’til next year.
But that’s more time for planning merch.
I suggest green “I Survived 400ppm” on grey long-sleeve thermal t-shirts.
I’d also like to see “2000ppm by 2100” t-shirts. Pro-Green.

Gary Pearse

Hmmm… so they will get to keep re-announcing this emotional number. CO2 demand from summer growth will likely bob up and down on this figure until September then will jump up worse than we thought (IWTWT)

petermue

I still wonder why MLO data should be the measure of all things.
It is also obviously, that CO2 content of the atmosphere is *not* well mixed.
Looking for some CO2 land measurements I found those curious stations:
An almost constant mean value here
http://umweltluege.de/images/co2Puszcza-Borecka-Diabla-Gora-IOEP.png
or a constant value of 341 ppm here
http://umweltluege.de/images/co2beobulgaria.png
Both datasets are from the WMO WDCGG website.

Chris @NJ SnowFan

“mwhite says:
May 13, 2013 at 11:09 am
“180 Years accurate CO2 – Gasanalysis of Air by Chemical Methods (Short version)”
http://www.anenglishmanscastle.com/180_years_accurate_Co2_Chemical_Methods.pdf
There’s so much here, but
“There is no constant exponential rising CO2-concentration since preindustrial times but a variing CO2-content of air following the climate. E.G. around 1940 there was a maximum of CO2 of at least 420 ppm, before 1875 there was also a maximum.”
Mount Tambora 1815 Volcanic Eruption right arount same time in early 1800’s when C02 was estimated above 400 ppm. Interesting.
With an estimated ejecta volume of 160 km3 (38 cu mi), Tambora’s 1815 outburst was the largest volcanic eruption in recorded history. The explosion was heard on Sumatra island more than 2,000 km (1,200 mi) away. Heavy volcanic ash falls were observed as far away as Borneo, Sulawesi, Java and Maluku islands.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Tambora

As the sun is winding down and the oceans cool, the impending doomsday may be delayed till the next solar highs due about 2100 .
http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/SSN.htm

Is the ~400 ppm figure simply that which has been measured at Mauna Loa? If so, what is the actual proportion of CO2 in the atmosphere? Does anybody know?

Rob Potter

Steven Rosenberg (May 13, 2013 at 10:55 am)
Not sure if anyone has really answered you, but yes, there is an annual pattern of reducing CO2 in the NH summer which you can see if you look at monthly graphs of Maua Loa numbers – something like this:
http://cdiac.ornl.gov/trends/co2/csiro/CSIROCO2MAUNALOA.JPG
What I find so interesting about this is that it shows just how big the net effect of annual agriculture is – 7-8 ppm every year – something like 2% (at 400 ppm…..). So, with just the net effect of annual crops (remember that there are annual crops which are harvested in off seasons as well as a fair amount of SH annual crops), we are already swamping the yearly increases due to anthropogenic causes. I know it is all about accumulation, but really – we need to put things in a bit of perspective here (especially the panic over “400”).

oldseadog

Maybe Mann has been holding his breath.

Dave Cochrane

Maybe he’s put a cork in it.

Rhoda R

MWhite: Thank you for that link. The historical CO2 info they found was — enlightening, to say the least. We’ve been assuming and need to question the assumptions about CO2 measurement. Keeler et al may be right – but this study is enough to open the issue. Was it ever published?

Bruce Cobb

Premature enumeration then?

Big Beer is going to get you for bursting that bubble!

wayne

“Many scientists have warned that carbon dioxide readings must be brought down to 350 ppm to avoid severe climate impacts and stall “feedback loops” that will exacerbate the rise.”
Don’t know about your location on this globe but here in midUS it’s just fine and at 400 ppmv. So much for the 350, 350org, and the man-made “feedback loopity loops” hogwash. Good riddance.

Well, considering that the CO2 level bounced around the “upper safe limit for humanity” (350ppm) for about two years, and Hansen and McKibbin didn’t see a need to act till about 20 years after this life-threatening milestone was reached, we’ll hear several “urgent” appeals over the next couple of years.
That means we can see the t-shirts change several times: “I survived 400ppm – again”, with the dates we reach each “milestone”.

Wamron

If I were a billionaire….
I would buy a rig to float in international waters (or the territorial strip of some piddly-squat client stated and establish a facility devoted to generating CO2. My goal would be to see how quickly it could be emitted and if we could manage a better output than all declining indistries of the West combined. Our target would be 4000 PPM in my lifetime.
Could it be done? What new technology specifically and solely for generating CO2 emissions would need to be devised? How much would it cost?
What the feck could anyone do about it?

jorgekafkazar

Steven Rosenberg says: “…is there more CO2 and less O2 in the Northern Hemisphere in winter, etc. due to there being fewer leaves at work?”
At the same time that SH Spring is bringing salubrious weather there, raising oceanic surface temperatures and allowing more CO2 to be evolved, Fall is descending on the NH, killing leaves, and causing less CO2 to be used in photosynthesis, so CO2 goes up. And vice versa 6 months later. I suspect the more powerful mechanism is the oceanic temperature change.

This way they get to have two celebrations — and two screaming headlines in the New York Times.

TerryMN

This way they can make headlines again next month (or this fall if we’re into the summer CO2 decline). I don’t think the readers of USA Today will remember.

TerryMN

Gah! Nobless Oblige beat me to it as I was typing…

Laughable article: “CO2 at All Time High”
Is she a low-information fear-monger, or a liar?

Bill Parsons

Rob Potter says:
May 13, 2013 at 11:44 am
The seasonal variation in northern hemisphere CO2 is due to more than agriculture. It’s much bigger. It has more to do with the annual die-off and decay of the total biomass of photosynthesizing land plants in the north. What percentage of that is agricultural would be interesting to know. Since our crops aren’t allowed to keel over and lie rotting in the fields, they aren’t contributing to that biomass. Maybe there’s a spike from the sudden loss of CO2-absorbing plants?

A climate metric revised downward ??? Stop the presses!

RockyRoad

So we’re destined to repeat this disaster twice?
Whatever…

In Minnesota yesterday CO2 levels dropped from over 400ppm to 362ppm in just one day! http://m4gw.com/minnesota-co2-drops-from-over-400ppm-to-362ppm-in-one-day/

Sean

Atmospheric CO2 did not reach 400 ppm last week?
Ah, well that explains why the world did not come to an end.

Robertv

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 1.8 million civilians work for the Federal Government, excluding the Post Office
5733 ppm

Greg Goodman

Oh great. So the alarmists can have another fit in a month or two.

I update CO2 content and global temperatures from satellite measurement almost monthly for this graph on the Friends of Science website. It shows the seasonal CO2 variations.
http://www.friendsofscience.org/index.php?id=453

AndyG55

Hey, does that mean I can take off my oxygen mask ??
Is it safe again?

March

Celebration back on?
According to SCRIPPs..
http://keelingcurve.ucsd.edu/special-note-on-may-9-2013-reading/
Special note on May 9, 2013 reading
May 10, 2013
May 10 Comment:
NOAA has reported 400.03 for May 9, 2013, while Scripps has reported 399.73. The difference partly reflects different reporting periods. NOAA uses UTC, whereas Scripps uses local time in Hawaii to define the 24-hr reporting period. If Scripps were to use same reporting period as NOAA, we would report 400.08 for May 9.

Joe Public

Oh dear. This gives the MSM a second opportunity to report the bad news when it finally breaches the symbolic figure.

Well, who would want a 400 t-shirt now.. Maybe they can add ‘so near, but so far’ somewhere on those t-shirts.

Björn

Steve Rosenberg
Lubos Motl did a post at his blog few months back discussing som aspects of the annual seasonal variations in the carbon dioxide concentration in the athmosphere, it was mostly about fitting a mathematical function to thaht could mimic the actual data but the post contains a quick and short and very readable overview of how the CO2 variaies throughot the year. The url of the that post is:
http://motls.blogspot.com/2013/02/mauna-loa-carbon-dioxide-fit.html
One intriguing conclusion he drew from that exercise was contained in the paragraph I copied and paste here below:
quote: ” ………
Let me mention that between May and September, the seasonal variations contribute the drop by 3.12+3.58=6.70 ppm of CO2. If you could make plants thrive in the winter as well, you could easily subtract something like 13 ppm of CO2 from the atmosphere every year, well above the 2 ppm by which we are increasing the concentration every year (it’s 1/2 of 4 ppm we are adding; the other half is already being absorbed by the enhanced consumption of CO2 due to the elevated concentrations).
…….” end of quote.
In other words with our current yearly human additions of co2 to the athmosphere then if we had an endless summer season in the northern hemispehere , the plants would be devouring the co2 so fierecly that with we would be loosing 11 ppm/year and so would reach the 140 ppm mark ( the total biosphere extinction mark ) in less than a quarter of a century.

clipe

Speaking of carbon dioxide…
http://earthengine.google.org/#intro/ColumbiaGlacier
Watch Sahel greening.

Lance Wallace says:
May 13, 2013 at 11:08 am
However, only three sites were examined, and one (near the Antarctic) gave very different values, so probably more is known now.
http://bluemoon.ucsd.edu/publications/ralph/3_Seasonal.pdf

Indeed, more data and better detection methods for O2 (still a huge challenge to measure less than 1 ppmv on 200,000 ppmv!) are available nowadays. Here the results for 1993-2002 (fig. 5):
http://www.bowdoin.edu/~mbattle/papers_posters_and_talks/BenderGBC2005.pdf
In the introduction they give more background info.

mwhite says:
May 13, 2013 at 11:09 am
“180 Years accurate CO2 – Gasanalysis of Air by Chemical Methods (Short version)”
http://www.anenglishmanscastle.com/180_years_accurate_Co2_Chemical_Methods.pdf

and
E.G. around 1940 there was a maximum of CO2 of at least 420 ppm
Please, not again… There was no peak of CO2 around 1942. Not in ice cores (8 years resolution), not in stomata data, not in coralline sponges or any other proxy.
The problem with many of the historical data is less the method (most were accurate to +/- 10 ppmv) but the places where was measured: near huge CO2 sinks and sources like forests (600 ppmv at night, 250 ppmv on a sunny day) and midst of towns. Completely unsuitable to know what the “background” CO2 levels of that time were. It is the equivalent of taking temperature readings near A/C exhausts, barbecues or on an asphalted parking lot. See further:
http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/beck_data.html

Bob Mount says:
May 13, 2013 at 11:42 am
Is the ~400 ppm figure simply that which has been measured at Mauna Loa? If so, what is the actual proportion of CO2 in the atmosphere? Does anybody know?
Mauna Loa is only one of the stations (be it with the longest continuous record), but all stations from near the North Pole (Alert, Canada) to the South Pole show similar levels, be it with some lag with altitude and between SH and NH. The official “global” CO2 level is taken from a mix of stations at sealevel and is lower than Mauna Loa:
http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/about/global_means.html
another reason to wait several years to celebrate the 400 ppmv…

Myrrh

Special note on May 9, 2013 reading
May 10, 2013
May 10 Comment:
NOAA has reported 400.03 for May 9, 2013, while Scripps has reported 399.73. The difference partly reflects different reporting periods. NOAA uses UTC, whereas Scripps uses local time in Hawaii to define the 24-hr reporting period. If Scripps were to use same reporting period as NOAA, we would report 400.08 for May 9.
“partly reflects different reporting periods”?
“If Scripps were to use same reporting period as NOAA, we would report 400.08 for May 9”
It’s worse than we thought.

Here is an interesting little fact from ASU from there database on European temps from 1956 to present. The highest temperature in that period of time took place in 10/07/1977, which is the beginning year of the return to a warming pattern.
So how is it that this terrible record breaking warming pattern has not generated a new European high temp since 1977??????? Is this a possible clue to the real climate change?

BruceC

Rhoda R says:
May 13, 2013 at 12:14 pm
MWhite: Thank you for that link. The historical CO2 info they found was — enlightening, to say the least. We’ve been assuming and need to question the assumptions about CO2 measurement. Keeler et al may be right – but this study is enough to open the issue. Was it ever published?
Yes.
http://www.biomind.de/nogreenhouse/daten/EE%2018-2_Beck.pdf

I did a quick plot of CO2 (Mauna Loa) against the Pacific SST (SE of Hawaii)
http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/SST-CO2.htm
It appears that two are linked, with CO2 trailing by about 3 months.
(phytoplankton thriving in cooler seas, taking more CO2 ?)